What Is Good Internet Speed for Gaming?
Just like how we need different hardware essentials to be able to play certain games, we also need different internet speeds. If you’re playing games with other players in a competitive environment, such as PlayerUnknown’s: BattleGrounds, or Valorant, you want high download and upload speeds to prevent delays or lags.
If you prefer to game by yourself, such as in games like the Animal Crossing series or Stray, you may only need a good internet connection to download your game.
Typically, faster internet is always desirable. However, it’s good to know about your requirements so you don’t end up overpaying for a service you can not use. If you want to know why you may need an upgrade in your speeds, or how to ensure you’re meeting your device or game’s needs, keep reading!
How Many Mbps are needed for Gaming?
If we refer to the Federal Communications Commission, we see that a single user requires download speeds of around 3 to 4 Mbps. 3 for single-player games, such as Elden Rings or Celeste, and 4 Mbps for multiplayer games, such as Genshin Impact or Call of Duty.
The bare minimum connection speed recommendations are 3Mbps for download speed, between 0.5 to 1 Mbps for Upload speed, and a Ping rate under 150 ms. The recommended speeds differ between 15 to 25 Mbps for download speed, an upload speed of 5 Mbps, and a ping rate under 50 ms.
Keep in mind that these are all recommendations for a single user on one router. If you’re sharing a connection with others, you will need more resources.
What Is Download Speed?
Download speed is the time it takes for information to be sent to your device. Many things can influence this, but most drastically, the player’s location can induce great lags in gameplay, especially in Multiplayer Online games. You need a minimum of 3 Mbps to play such games, especially in decent enough quality to discern your enemies from the backgrounds.
What Is Upload Speed?
Upload speed is the time it takes for information to be sent out from your device. Since the most popular game titles are interactive, this speed is essential to a good gaming experience. You will need a minimum of 1 or 2 Mbps to ensure a gaming experience that is enjoyable.
What Is Ping Rate?
Unlike download and upload speed, we measure ping rate in milliseconds. This is also more technically referred to as latency, and it shows how long it takes for a data packet to travel from one place to another, and then back to the starting point.
For example, how long it takes for information to leave your device, head to the game servers, and then come back to your device again.
If your ping rate shows up as 23 ms, then it means that it takes 23 milliseconds for an action to show up on your screen after you’ve triggered it.
How does latency/ping affect online gaming?
Ping rate denotes the amount of time that information takes to be transmitted. Since latency is basically the measure of the time it takes to transmit information, it is crucial for all gamers. Most games will register other players’ movements before your own when your ping is very high, which means that you may lose the round before you even get to fight.
A rate under 50 ms is considered very good and a rate under 100 ms is average and decent for your gaming needs. It’s around the 150 ms mark where lagging starts, and anything about 150 ms is a definite lag, especially in intense, first person shooter games.
Best Internet speed for Gaming on Different Devices?
Anywhere between 3 Mbps download and 0.5 to 1 Mbps upload is considered the baseline minimum for a good gameplay experience as per the creators of video game consoles. The ideal speeds will differ depending on your console’s needs.
What is a good connection speed for PC or Mac?
The prerequisite for the basic gaming experience is download speeds between 3 to 6 Mbps, upload speeds between 0.75 and 1 Mbps, and a ping rate that lies between 100 and 150 ms. The ideals for PC or Mac gaming are 15 to 25 Mbps download speeds, 5 Mbps upload speeds, and a ping rate under 50 ms.
These are general guidelines which may change depending on the specifics of your device and your game.
What is a good connection speed for PS4 and PS5?
Since Playstation hasn’t specified minimum requirements, these guidelines are our recommendations: a download speed of 3 Mbps, an upload speed above 1 Mbps, and a ping rate under 150 ms.
Playstation’s suggestions for the best gaming experience are for a download speed of 16 Mbps, an upload speed of 4 Mbps, and a ping rate under 50 ms.
What is a good connection speed for Xbox One?
The Xbox support page lists a download speed of 3 Mbps, an upload speed of 0.5 Mbps, and a ping rate under 150 ms as the minimum requirements. Xbox doesn’t specify recommended internet speeds for gaming, but our recommendations are a download speed between 15 and 25 Mbps, an upload speed of 4 Mbps, and a ping rate under 50 ms.
What is a good connection speed for Nintendo Switch?
Nintendo’s support page lists only minimum upload and download speeds, which are 1 Mbps and 3 Mbps respectively. Our ping recommendation is under 150 ms, as per general guidelines.
Nintendo also doesn’t list suggested internet speed requirements, but we recommend a download speed between 15 to 25 Mbps, an upload speed of 4 Mbps, and a ping rate under 50 ms.
The best internet connections for gaming online
As expected, your internet speed is paramount to your experience as a gamer. 4G LTE networks are slower than broadband or fibre optics, but faster than fixed wireless or satellite. It’s best to use a fibre optic connection with wireless internet when you’re playing games at home since that gives you enough bandwidth at very low latency.
A fibre optic cable is the best option for a snappy, fast-paced gaming experience, as it can deliver up to 2 Gbps with a remarkably low ping rate.
Required speed for different game types?
Since there are new game titles being released every single day, with each one having different needs than the other, we can see an upward trend that denotes higher internet speeds for better gaming experiences.
First-person shooters (FPS)
These games have a primary shooting character, and the player plays from a first -person point of view through this main character. FPS games, such as Call of Duty online, require faster speeds than other games since they are centred on quick calls and action.
We recommend a download speed above 30 Mbps, an upload speed above 1 Mbps, and a ping rate around 20 ms for a no-lag gaming experience.
Role-Playing Game (RPG)
Even though a lot of Roleplaying Games can easily be played without an internet connection, you may still require connectivity to ensure the download of updates and events.
Since a growing population of gamers uses cloud-based gaming platforms and games, such as Honkai Impact and Zenless Zone Zero, you may just stream an RPG game through your desktop app as these games don’t have competitive co-op modes.
We recommend a download speed above 1.5 Mbps, an upload speed above 1 Mbps, and a ping rate under 150 ms.
Massively multiplayer online game (MMO)
Similar to RPGs, massively multiplayer online games are almost exclusively played online and pull content in real-time for distant servers.
We recommend download speeds above 3.5 Mbps, upload speeds above 0.5 Mbps, and a ping rate under 150 ms.
Real-time strategy games
Real-time strategy games don’t require your internet speed to run at fast speeds in order for multiple gamers to play simultaneously. Their requirements are not according to a player’s response and instinct as it is in FPS, and as such, we recommend download speeds above 3 Mbps, upload speeds above 0.5 Mbps, and a ping rate under 150 ms.
How to improve gaming connection
You can improve your gaming experience depending on your connection by following these simple steps:
Use an ethernet cable and avoid Wi-Fi
Gaming on Wi-Fi is hardly ideal for the best gaming experience since Wi-Fi connections can cause delays and lags due to poor latency. Directly connecting an Ethernet cable to your device can provide you with a quicker, more responsive connection that also has minimal lag.
If you must use a Wi-Fi connection, place your router as close as possible to your gaming spot to boost speeds, or use a router booster to guarantee better connectivity.
Bypass Bandwidth Throttling
Sometimes, your Internet Service Provider may reduce your connectivity speeds based on your online activities, which may also include your gaming sessions. This is called bandwidth throttling, which can be sorted through a VPN service.
Reliable VPN provider like Astrill VPN can help bypass bandwidth throttling as all of your online activities are hidden when you’re connected to a VPN server.
Since your activities are hidden because your IP is masked, your ISP is unable to track your usage and, therefore, can not place limits on your bandwidth usage.
Turn off other devices connected to your network
Preserving bandwidth space is crucial to great connectivity in gaming experiences. Background apps, browsers with multiple tabs, or even other people on your connection can take up bits of bandwidth for themselves, leaving you with limited bandwidth during your gaming sessions.
Make sure to turn off other devices connected to your network, or to close services that are turned on in the background whilst you game.
Update drivers and firmware from time to time
The most frequently updated drivers and firmware are typically garnered towards stability, performance, and other such enhancements. As such, it is very important that you stay up-to-date with all improvements made to your software.
These updates can even include bug fixes that could be causing serious problems in your gameplay, so make sure to do your part by allowing frequent updates, especially to accessories.
Use port forwarding
You will need to make modifications to your router to generate a static IP address, but by doing so, you can open ports and improve your gaming experience. It’s best to direct all sorts of traffic to such static IP addresses since that creates a more stable gaming experience.
This is even recommended by game creators and networks such as Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, so you can trust that by employing port forwarding, you’re setting yourself up for an even better gaming experience.
With all this information, you may have some questions about the details we’ve mentioned in this article. Read on to gain some clarity on any concerns you may have.
Why is faster internet better for gaming?
At its core, faster internet means that you will have reduced download and upload times. This means that whether you’re gaming online or simply downloading a game to play at a weaker connection, or even if you’re downloading an offline game, you will need stable and speedy connectivity.
Does my data cap affect my gaming?
If users exceed their data cap limits, they may be charged extra for the additional service, or would have to suffer slower speeds that may be near impossible to game upon.
It is very important to keep an eye on your data usage so that you don’t reach your data cap and suffer losses to your gaming experience because of it. Most service providers offer some sort of informing system that lets you know when you’re about to reach your limit.
How do I speed up my internet?
If your internet quality falls below the recommended or minimal requirements, consider changing your service provider or upgrading your plan. If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection, also make sure that the router is as close as possible to you, and opt for resetting your router or gaming devices every now and then to ensure smoother gameplay.
Author: Arsalan Rathore
Arsalan Rathore is a tech geek who loves to pen down his thoughts and views on cybersecurity, technology innovation, entertainment, and social issues. He likes sharing his thoughts about the emerging tech trends in the market and also loves discussing online privacy issues.